Waging war…

…on bindweed. As a general rule, this pedometer geek has a live-and-let-live policy, that is, within reason. What this pedometer geek calls Creeping Charlie is an exception; that plant has been on my radar to eliminate from our yard since my husband and I first moved to our house ten years ago.

This year, we decided that it was the bindweed that needed to be eradicated, but we wanted to do it without the use of an herbicide.

First, I will back up a bit to the history of our wildflower garden.

After having a decrepit outbuilding removed from the back corner of our property, we decided to plant a wildflower garden there. The first year the seeds we planted produced all sorts of wildflowers. From California poppies to lupine to purple coneflowers, it was a riotous mass of color, but unfortunately, many of the species didn’t return the following year.

The poppies didn’t, but then they weren’t really a native species; however, the lupine and the coneflowers did. We also had some daisies as well as sunflowers, which grew from bird seed (so much for sterile bird seed, but I digress).

Over the years, we had a red twig dogwood in one corner as well as a dwarf peach tree. Even now, we have a few irises and crocuses mixed in, which were inadvertently planted through other yard projects. We have planted milkweed seeds several times, but have yet to see any grow. On the other hand, last year we slacked off and as a result, we had a vine with blooms that resembled morning glories take over the area, blanketing most of the other plants.

We didn’t realize how invasive this plant was until we noticed that none of the lupine grew at all this year. Not only had we lost our lupine, but we also just planted three young serviceberry trees with hopes to entice more cedar waxwings to our yard. We soon discovered that this vine was beginning to encroach on them. Always resourceful, my husband found out what we were dealing with and decided to take care of the problem.

From then on, we have worked diligently to get rid of it. Daily, we grab trowels, head to the wildflower patch, and dig up bindweed, which is also known as wild morning glory. Twice a day, we visit the garden and remove the new sprouts and as much of its roots as possible.

One day this past week, we got serious. He used a shovel and dug deeper, clearing out plants, and sifting through the dirt to get to their roots. Many had barely emerged as we cleared out most of the garden in preparation to plant more lupine seeds and other wildflower seeds that will attract pollinators. Overturning the rocks that edge the garden, we have found roots coiled and shaped like snail shells and long branching roots. All have been placed in the yard waste garbage can, and it is nearly half full of the pesky vines’ roots.

It is now a daily quest to check the garden for the newest plants, and remove them and their roots. It is amazing how quickly these bindweed plants grow overnight and throughout the day. While we think we have taken care of them, there are always more the next morning, but we will win this war. It may take all summer and fall, but we are determined to win.

About the Creeping Charlie, well, that may take me forever. I think I am losing that war.

Happy Independence Day! Have a safe summer, and remember WMSD (wearing mask, social distancing).

Posted in #pedometergeek, bindweed, cedar waxwings, crocuses, pedometer geek, Uncategorized, WMSD (wearing mask, social distancing) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

BP: Stardust Haiku #42, June 2020 edition

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams has just published her monthly journal, Stardust Haiku: Poetry With a Little Sparkle. This is her 42nd edition, and she has chosen haiku submitted by haiku poets from around the world. This pedometer geek is both thrilled and grateful to have one of my haiku selected. It is as follows:

summer breeze…

the to and fro

of birch limbs

~Nancy Brady, 2020

To read all of the haiku, which the editor selected, check out http://stardusthaiku.blogspot.com.  This month’s selections are truly cosmopolitan with so many countries represented. Thanks, Valentina, for choosing one of mine.

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Here’s hoping all are staying safe and healthy as the infection rate for the Covid-19 virus is escalating at an alarming rate. Wear a mask and social distance (WMSD) to protect yourself, your family pod, and everyone else. #allinthistogether

Posted in #pedometergeek, #shamelessselfpromotion, BP, haiku, pedometer geek, poem, Stardust Haiku, three breaths, Uncategorized, Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, WMSD (wearing mask, social distancing), Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

S’mores? What are they good for?

Today, June 20th, is the first day of summer so happy Solstice. Because it is a leap year, it doesn’t fall on June 21, which was my grandmother’s birthday, but I digress.

Since it is now officially summer, the activities associated with summer are ramping up like picnics, cook-outs, biking, hiking, reading, camping out, and many more (all while staying safely socially distanced, of course).

Which brings this pedometer geek to the main point of this piece: in my opinion, s’mores are highly overrated, and frankly, not worth the hype (or the time and trouble to make). I may be the only person who has come to this conclusion, but before the stoning begins, let me explain.

Backing up a bit, this pedometer geek first experienced s’mores as a Girl Scout. I loved being a Girl Scout, and having a Girl Scout outing like a cookout or campfire often ended with s’mores, so named because it is a contraction of some more (as in I want some more). It was through the Girl Scouts that I first tasted one despite having heard about them from my older sister.

What’s not to like? S’mores are made up of three delicious all-by-themselves foods.  Graham crackers, especially dipped in milk, are a tasty after-school snack. Milk chocolate is melt in your mouth yummy whether it is a Hershey Kiss or the Hershey’s Chocolate bar (which is what most people use when making a s’more). Last, but not least, is the delicately toasted marshmallow. Not burnt, but lightly browned on all sides is just perfect all by itself.

The three ingredients are made into a sandwich of toasted marshmallow and a few squares of chocolate squished between two graham crackers. The problem is the chocolate doesn’t melt; the marshmallow, while toasted, isn’t warm enough to melt the chocolate. Biting into it tends to make the whole thing crumble and fall apart, and that is why s’mores don’t live up to their glowing reputation. Thus, I eat the components separately.

The secondary point to the s’mores issue, which gave me the idea for this post in the first place, is that this reader has recently noticed that whenever camping and cooking over an open fire occurs in a novel, s’mores are the perfect treat. Several recent novels played up the s’mores. It may be the beginning of another What-the-tuck trend; this reader will be watching.

 

 

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Serving Berries

On April 29th, this pedometer geek posted a blog on the poem, “Serving Berries,” which was published in the first 44839: Poems from a Zip Code anthology published by Drinian Press, LLC. The poem was about the cedar waxwings who visit our serviceberry tree. In the space of a few days, the waxwings clear the tree of the berries.

Ever since the scouts stopped by a few weeks, we have been waiting for the flock. Yesterday, they arrived.

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Photos by Nancy Brady, June 2020

 

 

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BP: Haiku Dialogue–Orange

This week’s Haiku Dialogue column featured the color orange. This was to be the last color-themed column edited by Tia Haynes. One of the haiku written by this pedometer geek was selected to be included with  the other haiku. It is as follows:

roadside tiger lilies

she wonders  if

they talk too

~Nancy Brady, 2020

Some of my favorite reading as a child was the novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and I read it over and over again. I even had a coloring book filled with drawings from both this story and Alice Through the Looking-Glass. As an adult, I finally read the sequel, but I was already familiar with many of the scenes because they were represented in the coloring book. My haiku comes out of the sequel, and the fact that where this pedometer geek lives, there are tiger lilies which line the roadsides throughout the state. When they are blooming, I always wonder…

To read all of the haiku about the color orange, check out http://www.thehaikufoundation.org under the blog called Troutswirl.

Next week there will be a new editor, Craig Kittner, and a new theme. It is the way of the gardener. The deadline to submit is midnight, June 6th.

 

Posted in #pedometergeek, #shamelessselfpromotion, BP, haiku, Haiku Dialogue, Haiku Foundation, pedometer geek, poem, three breaths, Tia Haynes, Uncategorized, Writing, writing prompt | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BP: Stardust Haiku #41, May 2020

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams’ monthly journal, Stardust Haiku #41, has just been published online at http://www.stardust.blogspot.com. She gets submissions from all over the world, and this month was no different. There were more than ten different countries represented in this collection of haiku so this pedometer geek feels very fortunate to be among those haikuists selected for publication.

Here is mine:

honey bees covered

with pollen

flower moon

~Nancy Brady, 2020

Thanks, Valentina, for the editing help and including one of my haiku. Check them all out. Each month between the first and fourteenth of each month she accepts submissions.

Posted in #pedometergeek, BP, haiku, pedometer geek, poem, Stardust Haiku, Uncategorized, Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BP: Haiku Dialogue: White

This week the Haiku Foundation’s column, Haiku Dialogue, was once again edited by Tia Haynes. She chose to look at the color white through the Haiku Prism. This pedometer geek had the pleasure of having one of my haiku accepted for the column. Not only that, but it was one of the haiku that was singled out for commentary. It is as follows:

ivory satin

she felt she shouldn’t

wear white

~Nancy Brady, 2020

To read all the haiku on the subject of white, check out http://www.thehaikufoundation.org under the Haiku Dialogue-Haiku Prism link. Thanks, Tia, for both editing the column as well as your commentary each week especially considering how many haiku you have to read.

A fellow haiku poet asked how many haiku are submitted each week, and the answer by K.J. Munro, who has done her own share of editing this column in the past, was over a hundred submissions. These submissions can have up to two haiku apiece. That is a lot of haiku to pick from week after week.

Next week’s column is all about the shades of red. Haiku can be submitted until Saturday evening at 11:59PM at the site.

 

 

Posted in #pedometergeek, #shamelessselfpromotion, BP, haiku, Haiku Dialogue, Haiku Foundation, Haiku Prism, KJ Munro, pedometer geek, poem, Tia Haynes, Uncategorized, Writing, writing prompt | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

BP: Haiku Dialogue: Brown

The prompt for the Haiku Foundation’s Haiku Dialogue weekly column (as seen through the Haiku Prism) was the color brown. Tia Haynes, editor for this series, chose one of the haiku this pedometer geek wrote. It is as follows:

decoration day

she plants geraniums

on parents’ graves.

~Nancy Brady, 2020

Getting one’s fingers dirty is a given when planting anything. Even if wearing gloves, it is hard not to get dirt under fingernails as the soil is packed down around the new plant or seed. That’s what my thoughts were when the haiku was crafted even if the word brown wasn’t obvious. Apparently, the editor felt the same way, or she wouldn’t have included it with the other haiku on the subject. To read other poets’ haiku on the subject of brown, check out http://www.thehaikufoundation.org Troutswirl blog under Haiku Dialogue. From the color of one’s skin to decaying fruit turning brown to fallen leaves, the haiku reflect the many shades of brown. Thanks, Tia, for choosing one of mine from this stalwart group of poems.

Next week’s prompt is white, and up to two haiku can be entered through the contact link near the top of the column through Saturday evening (11:59PM the cutoff time).

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On another subject altogether, Healthcode.org’s Million Mile Month has continued into May. This pedometer geek has managed over 49 miles toward the goal of 75 miles.  Because this pedometer geek fell five miles short of April’s goal, I decided to lower my expectations while still participating. Hopefully, the community will exceed the million miles and I will exceed my goal by at least 80 miles to make up the previous month’s deficit.

There is still time to join in. Check out http://www.healthcode.org for information.

Posted in #millionmilemonth, #pedometergeek, #shamelessselfpromotion, BP, haiku, Haiku Dialogue, Haiku Foundation, pedometer geek, Uncategorized, Writing, writing prompt | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

44839: Poetry From a Zip Code (2017)

In the 2017 anthology of 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code, there was another poem that this pedometer geek had selected. It is called “Word Play.” This pedometer geek shares it now.

Word Play

“There’s a poem in that,” we often say

after we banter about something that caught our attention.

Bouncing ideas off each other, sparking the imagination,

taking it one step further

until one takes word to paper.

For it is the interaction, the word play, the time together

that is important.

The poems are just an added plus.

~Nancy Brady

44839: Poetry From a Zip Code was published by Drinian Press, LLC in conjunction with the city’s Poet Laureate program, which is administered through the Huron Public Library. So far, Huron has had five Poets Laureate. The program began in 2009 with Larry Smith as the first Poet Laureate. He was followed by Rob Smith, Rob Ruble, and Joel Rudiger. The current Poet Laureate is Robert Reynolds, who was appointed in 2018.

 

 

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44839: Poetry From a Zip Code (2017)

Another of the poems, written by this pedometer geek, was the poem, “Sanctuary.” It, too, was chosen to be in the first anthology, 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code, which was published by Drinian Press, LLC in conjunction with the Huron Public Library and the city’s Poet Laureate program. It is as follows:

Sanctuary

White steeple church

provides sanctuary,

even to nesting birds.

 

Yet, not for all.

 

A predator lurks, stalking, killing

gulls mostly, leaving behind

a bird foot, or bloodied feathers, and

once, two wings connected

by a bit of sinew.

Somehow, appropriate looking like

angels’ wings.

~Nancy Brady, 2017

Each year since the poetry contest began, the contest and its anthology has only grown. More poets are submitting, and the number of the poems has increased. Some poets have submitted poems every year, while others have only submitted once or twice.  Each year, though, new poets emerge from the grassroots. The irony of it all is that the original proposal was to be a one-off, but because of the success of the contest, the readings, and the anthology, poetry is flourishing in the city of 8,000 people.

 

 

 

Posted in #pedometergeek, #shamelessselfpromotion, 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code, BP, Drinian Press, pedometer geek, poem, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments